Roadie, a Treeing Walker Coonhound, became a symbol of perseverance in the 1990s to people with disabilities after two of his legs were mangled by a train. But with his eyesight fogged by cataracts and his remaining legs crippled by arthritis, the dog was euthanized in November after he could no longer get up, Mike Griffitt of Bluegrass Veterinary Clinic told the Lexington Herald-Leader newspaper in Kentucky. He was 14.
Roadie’s remains were cremated, but there are plans to put a memorial shelf with his collar and photo in the veterinary office.
Roadie gained national attention in 1992, when, at only 9 months old, he was rescued from between the rails of a Nicholasville, Ky., railroad track after a freight train destroyed his right rear leg and left front leg.
Eventually the dog’s legs were amputated and he became a permanent resident of the Bluegrass Veterinary Clinic, where he was named Railroad, or Roadie for short.
Roadie’s recovery was recounted in numerous media outlets in the 1990s, including Dog World magazine, Reader’s Digest and CNN. He was even the subject of a Paul Harvey “The Rest of the Story” radio segment. And songwriter Mike Carr, now a member of The Moron Brothers bluegrass singing duo, wrote a song about the dog.
Roadie also appeared at fundraisers for animal welfare organizations, and for groups of people with disabilities. The handiCAPABLE Guide Service Inc., a group that provides disabled people with outdoor recreation through a wheelchair-accessible boat and adaptive fishing equipment, adopted Roadie as its mascot.
“He had been a part of our lives here for 14 years. At one time, Roadie was probably the most famous dog in the world. He touched a lot of lives,” Griffitt told the newspaper.